Chrome for Android Beta update adds experimental Chromecast support

chromecast chrome beta android

If you’re one of the many folks who enjoy streaming their browser tabs to Chromecast in Google Chrome for desktop, then you’l want to get your hands on the latest upgrade to Chrome Beta for Android. As of version 34, Google has added a hidden option that allows you to enable Chromecast streaming.

You can use it to stream anything you’re currently doing in any tab, such as watching a YouTube video or a movie on HBO Go. And although it’s hidden, the feature is quite easy to enable. Take heed to these simple and quick instructions:

  • Open Chrome Beta for Android.
  • Type chrome://flags/#enable-cast in the Omnibar and press enter.
  • Enable the “Enable Cast” feature.
  • Relaunch Chrome Beta.

You should see a screen like the one in the shot to the right. Of course, it’s worth noting that this feature is considered experimental, so you shouldn’t expect things to work 100% right just yet.

We imagine you wouldn’t be on beta if you didn’t expect that, though, so it probably doesn’t even need to be said. If you’re all set then be sure to head to the Google Play Store and grab the latest upgrade as soon as possible.

[via ChromeSpot]

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  • Max

    Since the pc version of Google Cast (which is what this extension is named) uses tons of ram and processor resources, does google provide a minimum processor/ram requirement for phones/tablets?

    • New_Guy777

      It’s not full browser casting, just HTML5 videos. Itappears to attempt to send the video straight to the stick, a la Netflix, Hulu, etc. Doesn’t always work, though.

  • http://peachin.blogspot.com/ peachin

    What does this do, that I already don’t have… I really don’t get this enhancement… I already have youtube from my phone with chromecast… what can I get now elsewhere – showtime for example, etc.

    • Scott Tompkins

      Cast your a web page from your phone, similar to how you can currently cast a web page from Chrome running on a computer.

      • spicymeatball

        I didn’t see that it would do that. I tried. From what I could tell this only allows me to cast a youtube video that is playing in the browser. Nothing else worked.

        • Scott Tompkins

          Fair enough, just tested and that appears to be consistent with the description of the enabled flag… (though not quite what I would expect from what the sentence in this article that says “You can use it to stream anything you’re currently doing in any tab”).

          I suppose the benefit implied by the experimental flag’s description is that it will allow you to cast video that you can not otherwise view in a native client like YouTube… though am not at home atm so can’t confirm that either ;)

    • New_Guy777

      Vimeo

    • andrew__des_moines

      Read Phandroid in all its glory on a 60 inch display.

  • ac

    How would this work exactly, if chrome mobile app (including beta) doesn’t support flash anymore? Can someone explain?

    • New_Guy777

      YouTube and many others have gone to HTML5, so you’re not working with flash.

      • ac

        Thanks for the reply. I was aware of HTML5, but my follow-up question would be, what would be the advantage to use chrome browser beta to stream content to chromecast vs. using the dedicated apps (e.g. youtube, hbogo)? I’d imagine that, streaming from a browser would only be advantageous to websites that don’t have a dedicated app (compatible with chromecast), right? There are a lot of video streaming websites that still use flash, so I’m curious to know which video streaming websites don’t currently have a chromecast compatible app, but use HTML5, instead of flash.

        • CodyTaylor

          I’m not sure which ones still use flash but you get the idea. Once working properly this means you can send/watch anything from your tab to Chromecast. Tons of useful websites that won’t have dedicated chromecast ready apps any time soon, this will make chromecast just that much more useful

          • ac

            And it’s a great concept, but I’m not sure how many video streaming sights are actually based on html5. That’s where there’ll be problems doing this from an android phone/tablet, since chrome browser doesn’t support flash. The websites that I’d be interested in doing this from are all flash based sites (e.g. flixster, and other non-mainstream sites). Part of me feels that I’ll still end up having to push links from a laptop/pc, rather than from the chrome beta browser…that is, until they figure out a way to make it work with flash enabled sites. I just don’t know if that will happen, since Adobe abandoned flash for mobile.

          • New_Guy777

            First, as far as dedicated apps are concerned, they aren’t always there (like vimeo). Second, this allows for a unified search process, something chromecast was lacking for mobile. Now you can search for the video regardless of the company that hosts it. Last, the videos are being sent straight to the stick, not being transcoded like they are with pc’s and macs. If the video fails, THAT’S where the failure lies. Somewhere, codecs etc aren’t lining up

          • ac

            Yeah, I had mentioned that, regarding some dedicated apps not having chromecast support, so I totally get that, but it still begs the question for me on which streaming websites don’t run on flash, but HTML5. Any streaming sites that run flash wouldn’t even be able to load on chrome mobile browser, would they? I don’t really understand the ‘bit about PC’s/Mac’s and transcoding, but would you mind explaining what the difference would be when going to a website from chrome browser (pc/mac) and pushing a video to chromecast vs. going to chrome browser beta (mobile) and pushing a video to chromecast?

          • New_Guy777

            OK, the PC gets the video, renders it on your screen, and also sends it as a video stream over the network to the chromecast. That takes horsepower, and it doesn’t always look the greatest, depending on each person’s individual setup. But with this feature, as well as with the dedicated apps, video is sent straight from the internet to the chromecast. That’s also why it won’t always work. Html5 alone isn’t the requirement. It’s got to be running one of the supported codecs.

          • Max

            This makes a lot more sense, the article was slightly confusing. When you run it does it just show the html5 video on chromecast or the entire webpage?

            I don’t see why google couldn’t eventually render websites on the chromecast directly, other than the control lag (which doesn’t matter for some websites). It’s nice when i’m on pc to be able to quickly throw a website on to the tv for others to see, I’d love to be able to do that from my phone as well.

            Also being as google docs already does everything in realtime, I don’t see why docs couldn’t appear on tv (as if it was another view only user)?

            I can dream right?

          • ac

            Thanks so much for that explanation.

        • JRomeo

          I would love to cast my google+ pics/vidz from my phone to the chromecast. but the google+ app doesn’t have that functionality, perhaps i can now load it up in the mobile web browser and perhaps it’ll work.

          • ac
          • JRomeo

            I actually purchased the premium $5 version of Allcast…… and nowhere inside that app does it let me share my google+ photos to the chromecast…. I did notice that allcast has put itself inside of the share button as a viable form of sharing…. but last time I tried that from a google+ image, it did not work… i will try again tonight and let you know if it works. Has it worked for you? BTW: I prefer Allcast over Avia.

          • ac

            I completely missed the Google+ mention. Sorry ’bout that. I don’t use google+ for my photos, so I can’t be of much help, but it’s interesting that Google wouldn’t have added that capability directly through Google+. And I agree. I also prefer Allcast over Avia

          • JRomeo

            you should definitely consider turning on the “Auto Backup” option inside google+ for your photos/videos….. you get infinity storage space as long as you checkmark “standard size” and all the files which are backed up in the cloud stay there, private for your eyes only, then you could sort/organize them into different albums (family album, friends album, etcetera), it’s a very useful tool when you’re switching to a new phone and all your photos stay with you in the cloud, or you could delete videos from your phone to save storage space knowing they’re safe in the cloud for your eyes only. also, you can share more easily than ever with anybody else on the google+ social network.

          • ac

            I’m always hesitant when it comes to syncing pics and vids through to the cloud. I actually prefer having more control over any type of media, so I back those up and free space by transferring files via wire connection through my PC.

            Just a personal preference, even though it’s more work and takes longer.

          • JRomeo

            I used to be hesitant also, but the unlimited storage with auto-backup standard size feature is one I could not pass up…